A New Post

I pretty much stopped blogging when I stopped working in a State office. When I was a slave to my cubicle blogging was a welcome respite from the hum-drum of data entry, computer troubleshooting, or whatever it was I used to do. Then for years I had all the time in the world but what’s the fun of blogging when you can be wiping in WoW raids or playing America’s Army? I pretty much stopped writing altogether although I would still scan current events in search for bloggable material. Alas, nothing really struck me mostly because although I still found subjects for which I held strong beliefs, I hardly cared to attempt to sway public sentiment. I got my public library card in good standing and spent time reading various books and learning Arabic for fun.

Along the way I’ve lost the audience I used to have which is a blessing in disguise. At the height of my blog’s popularity with my small coterie of other bloggers and random commenters my posts came to be less about serious subject matter and I reverted to being the class clown. I began to self edit in order to not offend the political sensibilities of the myriad types that frequented my blog and that became the deathknell for true self-expression. Now that no one reads this blog anymore it seems I can say what I really think because pretty much no one else is going to read this but me unless someone happens upon this blog my accident by googling pictures of Amy Lee. So what is it that I really think?

I don’t desire the kinds of things that others find so important. I desire only enough money to not have to worry about the exigencies of life. I don’t have or want a car. It’s too much trouble, they always break down, I don’t know how to fix cars. I don’t care to learn. Cars interest me about as much as blenders. It’s cool if one is available but I can live without one. I finally (and reluctantly) got a cell phone this year so I would be locatable in case I’m needed for a surprise shift at work. It’s a very basic and archaic cell phone. I don’t want a nicer one. If I had more money I would buy a new computer. That’s about the extent of what I desire materialistically. I’m not ascetic. I don’t think materialism is a moral failing, I just don’t care that much for things. I love my kids and I want them to love me too.

I like working and being proficient at what I do. I like the people I work with although I don’t talk to them too much. At one point I started telling some of the more outrageous stories of stuff that has really happened to me like the subject matter in my “the day that” category and they thought I was hilarious. Then I stopped telling those stories because I was aware that many of those stories are hard to believe and I didn’t want them to think I was making stuff up. Once I was drinking with a co-worker and I began speaking in the manner in which I blog. My co-worker told me to stop using big words so I reverted to speaking in a more normal fashion. I wasn’t even using really tough words either. I think I used the words “malignant” and “conversely”. One would have thought I was speaking in braille.

I like working at the middle eastern restaurant. The other day I invented my own sandwich with garlic sauce, onions, chicken kabob, basmati rice, and fetta cheese. This customer was all like “ooh I want one of those!” We made her one even though that particular combination is not on the menu. That was win.

An Aligning of the Stars

There have been times in my recent history when life has dealt me setback after calamity in such short order that I assessed my situation and was compelled to ask myself what have I done to deserve this? I’m basically a good guy or at the very least I can say I’m not malevolent so I can say that when people act with ill-will against me I’m honestly stymied. Sometimes, however, the ball bounces the other way and I’m happy to report that I’ve been the beneficiary of a string of blessings, one after the other recently, that have stunned me to humility and again I find myself asking what I have done to deserve this. It is my general inclination to work hard, avoid confrontation, and hope for the best which of course should yield good results but the latest, the fact that I have finally reconnected with my youngest son Bilal, leaves me at a loss for words. They literally have not yet invented the words for me to express have I feel.

This blog has fallen into disuse and is virtually unread as of late so it doesn’t matter that I have broken a cardinal rule of my own which is that I don’t mention family members by name here. The official particulars of why I hadn’t seen my youngest two in such a long time I will not get into other than to say the reasons were primarily financial and geographical. I will say that I’m extremely pleased to see that Bilal types grammatically and intelligently and that he seems to have manifested the best attributes of both of his parents.

Whatever drama or grievances that existed between his mother and me are entirely irrelevant, pointless memories from a bygone era. What matters now is that, deservedly or not, I seem to have been given a chance to claim something utterly invaluable that I once thought was lost to me forever. In my darkest moments I cursed my fate, wallowed in emotional anguish, and wondered WTF? Now, as things have quickly and inexplicable seem to have turned around, I praise the heavens, smile at the stars and again wonder WTF?

(See, I told you the words hadn’t been invented yet)

Unconscious

How is it that this song has only 275 views?? Here is the voice of an angel. Translation to come soon.

To All My Friends

To all my friends, whether you side with the Zionists, Muslims, or moderates. Please listen to this song:

Legislative Buffoonery

This excerpt from a Time article about proposed legislation re: church and state:

The North Carolina bill—which appears to be dead for now—was one of two big church-state blow-ups last week. In Tennessee, legislators withdrew a school voucher bill that would have allowed parents to direct taxpayer money to private schools, including Christian academies. The reason they balked: it suddenly occurred to them that the bill would also allow parents to direct tax dollars to Islamic schools.

BWAAAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA!!!!

Protecting Al-Assad

This is exactly what I was talking about in my last post. If the United States is not going to move against the thug President of Syria Bashar Al-Assad due to his crimes against humanity (and I understand the arguments against US involvement) there should at least be a legal means for US citizens to volunteer for that fight. Apparently the only way a US citizen can join the fight is to join a rebel group that is linked to Al-Qaeda because Al-Qaeda seems to be the only organization around that is actively assisting in the fight against this very bad guy. Now don’t misunderstand my argument. I’m not saying that fighting Al-Assad suddenly makes Al-Qaeda the good guy. My question is why we are punishing a US citizen for firing an RPG at the Syrian regime? As long as he wasn’t conspiring against US targets (and it’s my understanding that he isn’t being accused of that), I think this is a crime that should not be prosecuted. Doing so makes it appear that the United States government is protecting Bashaar Al-Asaad and that’s worse than doing nothing at all.

Legal Mercenaries

May you die and burn in hell Bashar al-Assad for your war on Muslims and victims like these. Who needs a Zionist conspiracy when you have Arab leaders such as this who kill so many of their very own? I wish the United States would sanction the use of volunteer American mercenaries to put boots on the ground and help bring this monster to an end, in the spirit of the Flying Tigers who helped defend mainland China in World War II. A legal option is something that should be allowed. Al-Assad’s continued existence is of no use to anyone.

Rote and Wrote

When I was in the third grade my family moved from Lansing Michigan to San Angelo Texas for a short period of time. The change in school systems was shocking to me. Whereas in Lansing we had classes that separated students according to reading ability enabling the more gifted students the opportunity to be challenged with material that was at their level, at Rio Vista Elementary all the students were lumped in together to study at a level that was appropriate to the many students who were below average reading level because they were learning English as a second language. We also were forced each school day to recite the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order. Welcome to the world of learning by rote.

Studies have shown that, unless used on a normal basis, this type of learning is largely forgotten a few months after the repetition is no longer required. Knowing the names of the United States in alphabetical order is something that never comes up in real life, not even on Jeapardy. I would wager that not a single student from my class can now recite the first 15 states in a row. If this is true, then the net gain of the efforts to teach us the names of the states is likely zero.

Imagine my surprise then, when I read this article where an Ohio educator named Suzanne Kail describes eyerolling when told she would be required to teach her children Latin and Greek word roots as well as cursive writing, which she regarded as rote memorization. Yes, it is rote memorization, but involving something that is actually useful in the same fashion as memorizing the multiplication tables. Word roots and math are something that you will use your entire life so the benefits of these should be self-evident. The articles goes on to describe how Suzanne’s students soon were competing to produce lists of English words with Latin and Greek roots and how many of them benefitted by later being able to identify words with these roots on the SATs.

The requirement of learning cursive writing, however, is of a bit more dubious value. My ability to read and write in cursive is presently about as useful as correct-o-type (don’t even bother googling it because there aren’t any pictures). In fact, in studying Arabic I’ve become semi-proficient with the Arabic keyboard yet I still struggle with writing it because most of the work I do with it is on the keyboard. At minimum I must train myself to write Arabic legibly and correctly as the forms of the letters change depending on their placement in words.

The upshot of my studies is that in the process I’m learning the roots and pluralization of Semitic words which augments my knowledge base even of some English words which have been borrowed from those languages. The knowledge of these words is something I accomplish largely by rote which is something useful to me in this case so I ain’t mad at it.

A curious aside: in describing her initial objection to teaching Latin and Greek word roots as “the antithesis” of what she believed in most, one could respond:

anti: Origin:
Middle English < Latin < Greek, prefixal use of antí; akin to Sanskrit ánti opposite, Latin ante, Middle Dutch ende (> Dutch en and), English an- in answer. Compare ante-, and

thesis: Origin:
Middle English < Latin < Greek, prefixal use of antí; akin to Sanskrit ánti opposite, Latin ante, Middle Dutch ende (source, dictionary.com)

Horde Rogue Elected to Maine State Senate

Political affiliation aside, this story is cool. Colleen Lachowicz was running for public office when her political opponents made a campaign issue about the fact that she plays World of Warcraft. The strategy backfired as she quickly became the most famous Maine resident since that St. Bernard that was eating people so Maine now has an assasination rogue representing Maine for the Horde. Nice.

Arabic Translation Toyor al Janah Iqra Nasheed

I have attempted a translation of Toyor Al Janah’s song “Iqra” on youtube. The purpose of this has been twofold, both to help familiarize myself with Arabic sentence structure (verb conjugation, pronouns, etc) and to give me practice typing in Arabic. Since most of the words in this nasheed are new to me I’ve had to rely on google translator. The result is awkward language. If any Arabic speaking person cares to visit the site and help me to fix this translation, that would be great!